RIP, Abe Vigoda


When I saw the posting on my Facebook wall yesterday, I at first thought it must be a gag: RIP, Abe Vigoda. The veteran Godfather and Barney Miller actor had lived with persistent, Paul McCartney-ish rumors that he was dead since at least the Mid-1980s. This caricature I drew for The New York Observer in the Mid-1990s alludes to it:

David Chelsea is reading:
SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome
by Mary Beard


Here’s what a caricaturist did for reference back in the day before you could call up hundreds of pictures of Abe Vigoda on Google Images. I rented a VHS copy of Jury Duty (in which Vigoda played a judge), and sketched from freeze frames:


Yesterday, Death caught up with the rumors. Abe Vigoda, dead at age 94.